While our analyses in this volume might have raised contemporary academic and policy issues that may be the subject of further research, we have tried to conceptualise the notion of implementation of global trade rules generally as well as in the context of Chinese Confucian theory. As the second largest economy with the largest trade surplus in the world as of 2015, China is endowed with a legal tradition largely grounded on trust and persuasion rather than strict normativity that characterises the civil and common law traditions. In view of this, it was therefore necessary to employ international relations theories such as constructivism and reputation costs to demonstrate why the 161 WTO members would stick or not stick to their international law obligations emanating from WTO rules. The necessity to employ these two theories is because of the nexus between the role of sanctions as instruments to induce compliance with WTO rules in constructivist thinking and reputation cost scholarship on the one hand and the reluctance of Confucianism to root sanctions in a formal international structure. Although constructivism and reputation costs on the one hand and Confucianism on the other hand are rather not comparable concepts, there is no denial that sanctions as remedies for non-compliance with inter-state obligations are neither at the centre of Confucian legal tradition nor at the centre of the discourses on reputation costs and constructivism.
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